Even if you’ve read nothing about Pokémon Go, you may have noticed that kids and young adults are glued to their phones even more than normal.
The game has spawned lots of weird stories since its release last week—one player discovered a dead body while searching for water monsters and another trainer was stabbed when he asked a passerby for tips.
So what’s going on here?
Here’s a crash course for newbies: Pokémon Go is an app that uses your smartphone’s GPS to determine where you are, and make Pokémon characters appear all around you. You look for animated characters superimposed on real-life images on your phone screen. So you have to actually go outside and walk around to find monsters and fight battles.
The Pokémon Company and Niantic, Inc., released the free mobile app last Wednesday, and—despite all the real-life bizarre repercussions—it has already passed 15 million downloads on Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
Most of us have a handful of Pokéstops and Gyms—real statues, sculptures, businesses, and more that distribute in-game items and facilitate Pokémon battles when trainers are close enough to them—within walking distance of our homes.
But you might be wondering: Where are some good places around Indy with lots of Stops and Gyms?
The following is a growing list of areas filled with Pokéstops and Gyms. Don’t see your training grounds? Comment below!
1. The Circle and surrounding areas
Great for catching Pokémon
The central downtown area near the Soldiers and Sailors Monument is absolutely flooded with stops and gyms. Lure modules are consistently active in the heart of the city—13 were pulling in all types of Pokémon at press time. When you’re exploring the statues and sculptures in this part of town, think of Indy as the real-world Fuchsia City: “A historic village that has become new.”
2. Broad Ripple Park
Great for meeting fellow trainers and sharing tips
Bust out your bug spray and head to Broad Ripple Park to catch Pikachus, Bellsprouts, and 100 more Weedles. The community aspect is great at this location—lots of dedicated trainers stop at the three gyms scattered throughout the path to share what they’ve learned with each other. Our own Viridian Forest also has 16 Pokéstops.
3. Thomas A. Weaver Municipal Complex
A great place to head with a group of friends
Located on Municipal Drive in Fishers, this complex features about 10 Pokéstops and three gyms. It’s a loop, which makes it easy to rack up steps on your egg pedometers and hit the stops right as they refresh. Lots of trainers of all ages frequent the spot. We like to compare it to Gold and Silver’s National Park.
4. The Indiana State Fairgrounds
Great for fair-goers
The Fairgrounds was a bit of a ghost town when we went, but after the State Fair opens, be sure to stop at all 34 Pokéstops and four Gyms on the property.
5. Indianapolis Museum of Art
Great for a scenic safari
The IMA boasts a diverse, 152-acre landscape with dozens of Pokèstops and a handful of gyms. We like to think of it as Indy’s Safari Zone, because while you’ll need to pay an entrance fee, you’ll get to see tons of great art and Pokémon.
6. The Canal
Great for aquatic Pokèmon
Looking to add some water types to your squad? The Canal is swimming with everything from Horseas to Dratinis, and the mural-filled tunnel under Michigan Street is a great place to cool off and drop a lure module. Plan on staying in our Cerulean City for a while if you want to catch the 100 Magikarps you need to get Gyrados!
7. IUPUI Campus
Great for egg hatching
The university’s enormous 534-acre property is perfect for wandering trainers. Pockets of Pokéstops are particularly dense near the Campus Center, and if you’re feeling really adventurous, the paths that surround the NCAA Hall of Champions just southeast of the school are loaded with stops and monsters. We think the campus and the anime’s version of Pewter City share a pretty similar skyline.
8. Indianapolis Zoo
Great for snapping some pictures
It might seem a bit backwards to visit a place filled with real animals just to find some fake ones, but we see it as another awesome reason to check out the Indy Zoo. 30 Pokéstops and a gym are strewn across the 64-acre grounds, giving you tons of opportunities to merge reality and fiction when you’re inside. The whole experience really reminds us of Pokémon Snap.
9. Fountain Square
Great for hungry (or thirsty) trainers
Need to eat but can’t stop playing? Grab a table at any of Fountain Square’s 36 restaurants and you’ll be surrounded by four gyms and about ten Pokéstops. A cluster of three sits at the intersection of Virginia Avenue and Prospect Street, and if you’re 21+, you can guzzle a margarita at El Arado Mexican Grill while getting goodies from all of them.